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★★★★½ Sweetwater by Lisa Henry ★★★★½

 

22611970

Sweetwater

by

Lisa Henry

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

 The blurb

 

Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

Our thoughts

 

Elijah is a lonely and isolated young man in Sweetwater, Wyoming, 1870. Scarlet Fever left him an orphan and partially deaf. People in town believe being deaf means being slow and so they treat him as such. Elijah would rather talk to people as little as possible than to be made fun of for his speech. He also feels like he’s a poor substitute for the family his adopted father lost before taking him in. This all leaves Elijah feeling like he doesn’t belong, like he’ll always be apart.

What Elijah desperately wants is for someone to see him. So when Harlan Crane sees what desires Elijah really has, Elijah is drawn to him again and again. Elijah craves the pain that inexplicably gives him pleasure that Harlan provides even if it leaves him full of self loathing.

But there’s another man who also sees Elijah. Grady is a cattle rustler who has dreams of owning his own ranch. He is instantly attracted to Elijah but takes it slow with him for fear of scaring him away. Grady wants to show Elijah that Grady can give him everything he needs. I loved that Grady was gentle and loving but still understood that Elijah craved pain and dominance. He was able to give Elijah what he craved and give him a satisfaction and pleasure that Elijah never found with Harlan.

I truly loved this book. This book is about Elijah’s journey to accept himself and his desires. There is so much emotion in this book. It’s sad and hopeful and just so damn good. Highly recommended.

**A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

 

Otila x

Reviewed by Otila

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★★★★ The Good Boy by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock ★★★★

I finally got around to reading The Good Boy which has been sitting on the Kindle for ages – and I’m REALLY glad I did!

The Boy Series

  • The Good Boy (book #1) – in this review
  • The Naughty Boy (book #1.5)

The Good BoyThe Good Boy by Lisa Henry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Introverted college student Lane Moredock is in a bad place. His mother has been arrested for securities fraud, his father is on the run, and everyone, including the SEC, suspects Lane knows where the missing millions are. Lane, with no money and nowhere to live, makes a desperate deal that lands him in trouble and leaves him unwilling to trust a so-called Dom again.

Photographer Derek Fields lost money to the Moredocks, and is as sure as anyone that Lane is guilty despite his claims. A chance meeting with Lane shows him there might be something more to the young man than arrogance and privilege, and Derek wonders if Lane might be just what he’s been looking for: a sub with the potential to be a life partner.

As Lane slowly begins to open up to Derek and explore his needs as a submissive, the investigation closes tighter around him. Lane might be everything that Derek wants, but first Derek needs to trust that Lane is innocent—and Lane needs to trust Derek with the truth.

So what did I think?

I didn’t read the blurb, or if I did it was ages ago because this one has been sitting on the Kindle for a while, but perhaps due to my experience with the author’s (Lisa Henry) other work, I expected this to be darker and different type of story. I didn’t expect the heartbreak and sadness and definite emotional pull of The Good Boy.

That’s not to say that it still doesn’t have it’s darker moments as it absolutely does. It is heart wrenching to watch Lane suffer at the hands of a so-called family friend and have his misplaced trust abused. His experiences are horrendous, from the emotional desertion of his family and the physical and psychological impacts of his abuse.

Lane Moredock is extremely shy and finds himself under immense pressure as his mother is arrested for securities fraud and his father is on the run. He is accused of knowing more than he does (which is nothing) and held accountable for his parent’s actions. Under scrutiny, hounded by the press and hated by many, he is abandoned and alone. That is, until Derek offers the first gesture of support.

This is a story of trust and acceptance. Derek has been the victim of Lane’s parents scheme. Lane’s inability to tell him the truth plus Lane’s own feelings of guilt, largely mean that Derek needs to trust his own instincts about Lane. Lane bears a terrible burden, believing he deserved everything that happened to him, believing his own desires and willingness to submit were ‘asking for it’.

It was wonderful to watch the journey as Lane slowly started to heal with the tender care and support of Derek. There ware some obvious parallels in the story as Derek’s sister runs an animal shelter and Lane befriends an extremely shy dog and brings it out of it’s shell.

I found the sex scenes to be beautifully written, conveying the emotion of each man. Their interactions were based on respect and honoring their desires. Things more very slowly for Lane and ramp up a little as his trust builds but not to the extent of anything heavy. There is some puppy play but once again, this is just a gentle use of collar and leash, and doesn’t move much further.

There are some lighter moments in the book with an interesting cast of secondary characters including Brin, Derek’s ex-sub who is now with Ferg (book 1.5 The Naughty Boy provides a little more about Brin and Ferg, relating one of the incidents touched on in this book) plus Derek’s sister and mother.

Overall, quite an emotional story but with a happy ending.

4 Stars

To find out more about Lisa Henry and her books visit her website.

To ind out more about J.A. Rock and her books visit her Goodreads author profile.

Buy The Good Boy from Amazon

View all my reviews